30 septiembre 2019

Recovered: A retrospective on Xandria to celebrate their seventh album, THEATER OF DIMENSIONS

Originally published in Rue Morgue Magazine on January 27, 2017
Spanish / Español

With orchestral sound, poetic lyrics and an epic-dark aesthetic, Xandria has certainly evolved through the years, and today's launch of their seventh album, THEATER OF DIMENSIONS, seems like as good a time as any to go over their work thus far.
Their first album with vocalist Lisa Middelhauve, KILL THE SUN, offers a simple, relaxed sound; a few elements from ambient, acoustic music. Very few tracks on this album offer the power metal style they will develop in the future, with long, raw poems serving as lyrics. Still, track 6, titled "Casablanca" is a standout and remains a fan favorite.
In RAVENHEART, Xandria develops a more dramatic, metal sound; slightly darker with indications of electronic and Oriental music influences. The album continues their calm melodies but with more active, aggressive lyrics. The track "Eversleeping" spawned the band's first EP: EVERSLEEPING, with two slightly different versions of the track, as well as a mix of ballads (like "Pure") and heavier songs like "Drown on me".
The band's third album, INDIA, presents a surprising, drastic change with deep, metaphoric, lyrics combined with power metal, gothic atmosphere and some touches of Oriental or Celtic music, depending on the track. SALOMÉ – THESEVENTH VEIL is their weakest album, with more direct lyrics and an oriental rock style marking this disc.
With vocalist Manuela Kraller joining Xandria for NEVERWORLD’S END, the band achieves their full potential as a power metal band, with a more elaborated sound and even deeper lyrics. Tracks like "When the Mirror Cracks" and "Euphoria" evoke a gothic aesthetic and a more dramatic singing style. Dianne van Giersbergen, the new and current vocalist, contributes her operatic voice to a more intense and faster style in SACRIFICIUM, which is the first album to include the songs' official instrumental versions, to the delight of their fans. "Little Red Relish", "Dreamkeeper" and "The Watcher" are the gems in this album's Crown.
Finally, Xandria’s second EP titled FIRE & ASHES offers a combination of dreamlike covers, original and old, with reworked tracks that explore different types of sound. Shining songs like "Now & Forever" or the "Sonata Arctica" cover create one of the more than interesting discs to their repertoire.
Xandria's latest album, THEATER OF DIMENSIONS came out today and if the two violent and orchestral advance tracks,  "We Are Murderers (We All)" and "Call of Destiny", are any indication, it's a good one. Pick it up at the band’s official store!

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